Regardless, many politicians don’t like talk radio and its televised equivalent. After all, Americans who listen to pundits with strong opinions tend to become, gee, informed about the issues of the day. Instead of minding their own business, they learn things. Then they call and write their representatives in Washington, demanding action. We can’t have that!
Of course, the case against an unregulated marketplace of ideas is so flimsy, it requires deception. Consider the liberal attack on Rush Limbaugh over his “phony soldiers” remark. Rush, in fact, had made a perfectly legitimate argument. If a soldier who had been kicked out of boot camp, then claimed to have witnessed fellow soldiers committing atrocities in Iraq isn’t a “phony,” who is? But the truth didn’t matter to many liberals. They tried to accuse Rush, of all people, of being anti-patriotic! It was so absurd, the charge didn’t stick. But that didn’t stop liberal lawmakers from threatening to revive the Fairness Doctrine.
That’s why Pence has introduced the “Broadcaster Freedom Act” -- to ensure that no future president can regulate the airwaves of America without an act of Congress. “America is a nation of freedom and strong opinion,” he says. “Our government must not be afraid to entrust our good people with all the facts and opinions necessary to make choices as an informed electorate. That is what democracy is all about.”
It’s not just Republicans who think so. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
So let’s ask those who champion the Fairness Doctrine: What are you afraid of?